October 6, 2011

A Blank Slate

A friend from college, Hellitz, and her boyfriend Pablo moved into a new apartment. It will be the first time they will get to decorate their place together.

In my opinion, that's the biggest challenge in decorating: finding the middle point in styles between a man's and woman's ideas of what they consider home.

Especially when their personalities are almost polar ends. It works for them. He's the ying to her yang. She does all the talking for a man of few words. He's the retreat to her party.

Hellitz and I talked at a get together and I told her how much I loved decorating, she seemed stuck on how to start and soon she'll have an out of town guest. I was more than happy to help. Eventually the mister and I would need to do the same thing so why not get some practice. Besides, I love to shop when I'm not spending the money.

One of my favorite couples had a lucky advantage:

They had a blank slate. 

No furniture. Not much art and what they did have they were willing to sacrifice for a new start. No talking fish or porcelain doll collection, phew.

The first step they wanted to take was decorate the living room. When she bought this apartment she saw herself hosting parties and so she wanted to make sure her guests were comfortable yet not overwhelm the room with too many pieces of furniture. 

So I googled and searched different color schemes. For me, that's where it all starts. Once again, Rate My Space came to the rescue and a new site that I stumbled upon, Apartment Therapy

She fell in love with the gray schemes. It's sexy and grown up and it's the new neutral. Just like brown, you can play up gray with different colors. She's considering yellows, blues and silvers. 

So a hunting they went and found this beautiful sectional from American Signature.

I think it's a great start. We'll be working on some projects to accessorize this weekend. Wish me luck!

September 30, 2011

Team Spirit Hair Accessories

Slowly but surely, I'm getting these hair bows done. I'm a busy girl, planning baby showers and putting up wall collages. Catering to the mister. Helping a friend and her boyfriend pick out furniture and accessories for their new home. (That'll be a future post, promise.)

Honestly though, I'm trying to be careful with these. I put all my love in them especially since I'm giving them to all my favorite girls.

 I love it though. So far I made one for my sister. By made one for my sister, I mean, I made one for one of the babies but then my sister took one for herself. Gotta love her, she even gave me the puppy dog eyes, when I asked for it back. She wears it to all of the games and to school, so maybe I'm onto something here.

 These two are for my Goddaughter, Nahtalia. Pictures to come of her soon. She's cute and she knows it.

Abuelita sewed Sophia's fastener right onto the headband she was hearing that day.
Baby Sophia and her mother, Lizzie.
Still stuck on what to make for my nephew. I'll be sure to blog about it as soon as I figure it out. 

September 28, 2011

Wall collage update and my new buddy

I have a new toy. It's a laser level that I bought at Home Depot. He can be really obnoxious sometimes but I still love him. He helped me with my wall collage so I love him even more.

I shall call him Yobi. 
Here's the plus sides to my Yobi: It has a vacuum mechanism to hold its self onto a wall while displaying a straight laser line. It's the perfect tool for a wall collage. I don't need to make holes into a wall with pins just to keep it up like other laser levels or have someone else hold it up will I make markings.. He's pocket size if you have a big pocket and he fits just fine in the little toolbox that I have.

Did I mention he was obnoxious? Yes. He makes a buzzing sound. Very reminiscent of a game board buzzer. Taboo anyone? I live in an apartment so the sounds of buzzing vibrations against a connecting wall to my neighbor's was a bit of a concern. I only needed him for the time that I needed to make markings on my wall, so no neighbors came knocking on my door.

I had five picture frames, and only had to make five holes. Well, six because I measured wrong but it's a laser not a miracle maker. Without Yobi, I have a feeling I would have made about 20 holes before giving up and The Wall would have prevailed again. I've got some many ideas for him, it'll have to wait when my lease is up. It took 30 minutes to do the actual hanging, thank goodness.

This is my collage for now:

Excuse the lighting, I tried to fix it with Picnik but I'm still not that savvy. Oh and if anyone would like to give me a decent camera for oh... let's say Christmas, I'd appreciate it. :D 

I say for now because it feels like something's missing. I kept staring at if for about three days trying to figure it out. There's a void. Do you see it? I'm thinking it needs a sign. Something like this...

Again, bad photography. It'll get better, promise.

or this:

I'll be on the hunt for a sign. Why is it that I see signs at the stores when I don't need them and now that I do, I can't find them. Ugh! Happy with The Wall so far and wish I had done this sooner. Many thanks to Hermes Alers, who diligently worked on India until I was happy. 

What I learned: 
  • Measure twice, cut once. I know this but I'm stubborn. 
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • The phrase, Dance like no one is watching, comes from this poem:

Work like you don't need the money.Love like you've never been hurt.Dance like no-one's watching.Sing like no-one's listening.Live like there's no tomorrow.Fear like a stone.
  • Or this Irish saying: 

Dance as if no one's watching, sing as if no one's listening, and live everyday as if it were your last.

September 16, 2011

Choosing Art for my Collage

I'm almost done with choosing everything for my frame collage. One of the biggest challenges was finding the right art for the biggest frame that will be on the wall. Throughout my apartment I have a music theme but I wanted something unique. 

So an old friend of mine, Hermes, used all these photo software thingamobobbers to get the job done. It seemed like he used everything from Photoshop to Picnik. I owe him a milkshake. :D  

Don't let this this picture fool you. That frame is 22 x 28 inches. So La India is gonna be huge!

Hermes used the cover to my favorite salsa album to make his masterpiece. I'm so in love with it. Sobre El Fuego saved my life! I was 15 when I first heard it. I was heart broken and she got me over it. 

Also in the mix, pictures of Mister Smith and I. The pic above and below will go in the smallest frame. 

La Tati, the roommate, will also get featured in my frame. Who ever gave her those shoes was a genius!

Of course, I have to be featured too. I tried to get some common themes with all of the pictures I have in my database of pictures, i.e. my cell phone. I have 1,266 pictures in my phone. So finding these pictures with common themes was a bit of a challenge. I'm still iffy about these two. We look awesome but the back of a building and a gas station aren't very appealing. Even when I softened the areas a bit, it still didn't look all that great.. These pictures were taken at the most random hour of the night and yet (I'd like to think.) We both look fabulous. 

Edit 9/28/11...I also added this pic to the mix:

That's my brother EJ and my roommate La Tati. The soon-to-be-parents. 

September 2, 2011

Frame Collage Project

This has been the ultimate thorn in my side. I have this wall and a couch that has nothing to anchor it. This blank wall mocks me, laughing at me everytime I pass it, teasing me because I just can't figure out what to do with it.

I want a statement, I just don't know what statement I want to make or what statement I can afford. Remember, I'm saving for more important things and so, I didn't want to spend $200 for something halfway decent, or something that I can't change out later on. I can't paint my walls because I'm not staying here long but I still wanted to claim this wall. Make it my biotch.

So I went Goodwill Hunting without a true sense of what I really wanted. I ended up buying this:

I got all of that for $28. Four frames, an iron cross, a storage bin, an ironing board and.....

This etched glass for a quarter. That's my alma mater. Swoop!

The other stuff like the ironing board and the storage bin were things that I really needed.

Anyways, all those frames gave me the idea of a frame collage wall. I also had some frames in my coat closet, taking up space that was starting to drive the Roomy insane. So I placed all of them on my floor and started arranging them until they started making sense.

I still don't know if this is the layout that I'm going to work with. I want something organic and flowy but I also don't want it to feel like I'm hourding artwork and photos. By the way, I refuse to have pink in my apartment so these frames will get painted, just not sure what color or treatment they'll be getting.

I found some guides:

And some hanging frame tips:
EHOW Tutorial

Frame Hanging Hack from View Along the Way:

Well, I'll be shopping for artwork in the next couple of days or so. I've considered scrapbook material, fabric, actual artwork, facebook pics. Hopefully with the tutorials, the actual collage layout will be easiest part of this project. 

OH! By the way, I'm having a nephew!!!! He's due in the same month as my birthday. I'm gonna need ideas on what to make a boy. After all, I don't think he'll appreaciate hair clips and tutus. :D

August 26, 2011

Flowers meet Football.

I love football. I mean I la-la-la-love football. I have a fantasy football team that I'll be drafting for this Sunday and I watch the Jaguars play religiously, unless I get caught up into some really good gossip which of course gets interrupted by a touchdown.

It's not just about the game is about the family getting together. All thirty or so of us. The covered dishes brought over by the titis and the beer and sangria brought over by the younger people. The mommies bringing over the little ones. It's a time to catch up just as much as it is a time to root for my favorite team. Let's not forget tease the boys when I'm getting more fantasy points than they are.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is my favorite player. He's a smaller player but he's all muscle. He's a poster child for short people like me. (He's 5'7") You don't have to be almost 7 feet tall to become one of the best. I won't get into statistics but it's safe to say he's a beast even if he's still recovering from a couple injuries.

Football is a very manly sport, but I think I found a way to woman it up a little. Teal and feline printed flowers. Yep. Yep. Making some for the little ones as soon as I get some feedback from their moms'.

This isn't the finished project but it's definitely time consuming and there's a part of me that's not confident about it just yet. I'm considering feathers and beads. I plan on adding clips or headbands. With more practice, I plan on getting better and better but so far this is something I'm really enjoying. I learned how make ruffles!! I'm learning different techniques almost everyday. I found a niche, finally. Just need to perfect it.

Youtube helped me out lot as well as the tutorials from my last post. Now I see an old shirt and I think: Can I make one out of that?

What I've learned:

  • There are a bajillion different versions of teal at Joann's. So bring a pic of MJD just in case you want to match swatches.
  • Have a shopping bag for scraps handy, but remain prepared to use a vacuum.
  • The smaller some things are, the tougher they are.
UPDATE: One of the mommies suggested using nylon or pantyhose material for headbands, it's a lot softer on the baby's head. I found a headband tutorial at Pebbles and Poppys. I'll blog about it soon. ;)

August 22, 2011

Hair Accessory Faves

Found these really great hair accessory how-to. What's more feminine than a flower in your hair?

I have a lot of baby girls in my family right now, true believer that the best gifts are handmade (not to mention inexpensive.)

Pretty Pansy Pin Tutorial by Design By Night.

French Pouf with Chiffon and Tulle by...Love Maegan

DIY: Lace Flower Hair Pin by McLaughlin Designs

Ribbon Flower Tutorial by It's In the Details

Making Flower Pins by Make It Do

Valentine's Bouquet at BurdaStyle

Kanzashi Flower Tutorial by bitty bits & pieces

Can't wait to try these out. Wish me luck! Amazing what you can do with ribbon, felt and a hot glue gun.

August 17, 2011

Summer Update

I've had some craft fails. It all started with this one lantern that I made. My cousins have told me that it looks like a jar full of meat. Then I've done some paper mache on a clipboard that was just a bubbly, wrinkly mess. It didn't help that the paint from the last project bled through so the end product just looked dirty. I did a mini curtain for this shelving unit in the bathroom and my boyfriend's silent reaction was all I needed to realize that it sucked!


So my confidence deflated during these crafting fiascos but I'm not gonna give up. Fails are just opportunities for improvement.

The Meat Jar

I do have news about the family:

One of my closest cousins had a baby girl, her name is Sophia. She's as cute as can be. She's a week old and she's given the entire family so much joy. Congrats to the new parents.

Did I mention that I'm gonna be an auntie? Yep and we find out September 1st if I get a niece or a nephew? We're having the baby shower in mid-November and I'm already brainstorming all the little goodies I'll be making.

Elisa's room is almost complete...we need to do a whole overhaul of her closet. The furniture still needs painting as well. I guess we both need a second wind to get started with all of that. We've been so busy visiting babies and getting ready for school that finishing the room has been on the back burner. Oh...and she has a boyfriend now. (Feeling old.)

Let's see... what else....

I went to Arlington, Texas for business. Stopped by Ft. Worth for some sightseeing. I fell in love with this tortilla soup that I had over there. (Note to self: must find recipe for tortilla soup.) If I had to choose Texas heat vs. Florida heat, I would choose Florida Heat. At least there's relief at the beach or the spring. Texas just feels like you're in a hair drier every time the wind blows. Beautiful place though.

Hope everyone is having a good summer! (What's left of it.)

What I've learned:

  • I love babies, but I'm definitely not ready for one.
  • Texas is a great place to visit but I don't think I'd live there.
  • When in doubt, start over.
  • Silence can be very loud.
  • If you want to feel better check out these other Craft Fails.

July 19, 2011

House Hunting...so far

So far house hunting has been a lot of wait and see because I currently have six months left on my lease and so I won't get into the nitty gritty of looking at houses physically until late fall/ early winter.

So I've worked up a list of things I need to do to prepare myself for a crazy few months.

Pay off the debt.
It's been tough but it's neccessary. The car accident didn't help either but slowly and surely, I'm getting there. I've designed a spending plan and I've had to make some sacrifices. So far it's working.

Get my research on.
You name it, I've looked at it. Trulia. Zillow. Movoto. MLS. Property Appraiser's Office. Tax Collector's Office. I've even looked at court documents. Bank sites that listed forclosed properties. I've seen so much and yet I haven't even scratched the surface. I'll be blogging about some of these sites later.

Decide on which neighborhood to live in.
I've made my decision, kind of. I've decided which side to live on. It took a lot of soul searching and talking to friends and family to realize, I need to be on the Southside. My family lives on the Westside and a thirty minute drive to visit them isn't bad compared to a thirty minute drive everyday from home to work.

If I want to remain in the career that I'm in, Southside is the place to be or at least in the Mandarin area. I'm looking to find a place that's a fifteen minute drive to work.

Talk to real estate agents.
Luckily my cousin went through the homebuying process a year ago, so I asked her for a reference. I also looked up another real estate agent. After talking to my cousin's agent, I decided to work with her. She has the energy I need and I researched more about her credentials and read some of the testimonials. But most important of all, I got a good vibe talking to her.

Talk to a mortgage lender.
I've talked to three of them so far. All of them were a wealth of information and I've been given a better picture of how much I'll need for the process. It's not just signing a contract and paying a down payments. There's appraisers, closing costs, there's opening utility accounts and moving vans and repairs. Ugh, getting a little winded just thinking about it all.

Move in with my parents.
I seriously don't want to go to my parent's house. It's that whole, you're under my roof, you need to follow my rules thing. The whole, I'm not going anywhere, I'm just getting my phone thing. Or the, Yes mom, I'm going to my boyfriend's house and I don't know when I'm coming back thing. I never thought I would have to do this again but I really don't have much of a choice it's the only way I'll be able to...

No matter how many spending plans I design, I couldn't figure out a way to save what I need to save with out living off of a Ramen noodle diet. I'm seriously considering getting catering gigs or seasonal work just to shorten the time at my parent's house.

Wish me luck.

July 18, 2011

Elisa and the Green Room III

It got busy at work and during my lulls I was looking at real estate. That will have to be another blog entry because that's a saga on its own.

A lot has developed with Elisa's room and there's still quite a few things that needs to be done but it's ever evolving and it's so exciting to help my little sister get her dream room.

I'm pretty sure if she really had her dream room, she'd have a big screen HDTV, maybe a new car attached to that room but of course mommy nor daddy nor big sis has that kind of money. Luckily a huge chunk has been done in room just in time for her birthday.

I taught her how to make a ribbon board to hold all of her pictures of friends and family. We went staple crazy to do this. A little too staple crazy.
This was an up-cycle. It was first discovered in a discount salvage with a beach theme painted all over it. She painted it black and a bunch of neon colors and was used to hold gift cards for her quinceanera last year. This year she painted it black but to simplify her decor in her room she painted the swirls with white. Love how it turned out, it's a lot more grown up but it remains fun. She now uses it for jewelry and mementos from school (love notes).

Elisa and I used painter's tape before she painted the black lines. A whole lot more mistake proof resistant with the tape.

My sister hates shopping especially in Wally World, but she found the canvas picture of New York for a bargain. The canvases were in her room before and she covered them in fabric that we found in a dollar bin at Joanne's.
In lieu of a huge dresser, we moved in a shelving unit that was in another room and used bins to hold her clothes. We went online before we went bin shopping but we still went store hopping just to get the right combination of prints and sizes.

There's still plenty to do. Including this jewelry board. She's working on getting some hooks into the board to show off some of her accessories. The hooks were brass in color so she painted them black. Paint on the plate was evidence of either her boredom or having fun with the excess paint on her paintbrush.

We "lost" the covers to all of the outlets and switches. Elisa is using zebra duct tape to decorate the covers that she's found so far.

The night stand, and the headboard is in desperate need of an up-cycle.

This lovely little dresser used to be mine at one point. The plan is to make it her own. Ideas to come soon.

What I've learned:
  • There's moments where you have to let go and let the little one prove that she can do it.
  • Teenagers have a short attention spans except when it comes to crazy colors.
  • Moms will think this is too busy but that makes teenagers love it even more.
  • No amount of organization is enough unless you're willing to take out the trash and give things a way.
  • Small prints avoids clashing with bigger prints.
  • Focal points pop with larger prints, accessories should have smaller prints to not compete with the point of reference.